My friend Joanie sent me a text “OMG open casting call Sunday for Hell’s Kitchen.” Joanie and I wax poetic about cooking, being on Hell’s Kitchen or Master Chef, and our dreams to open a traveling tea service and bakery. For now, that’s all they are. Idle chit chat. The idea of trying out for Hell’s Kitchen…meh. It’s not that I don’t think I could do it. I look at being the Executive Chef like being the manager of a bank: it’s not AS hands on. It’s more leading of the kitchen, jumping in where necessary. Joanie sent me the information, I filled out the application, and got a return email with the details.
According to the email, if selected you would be flown out to LA for six weeks and compensated for your time. Yes, cooking is required, but this is reality show. Personality matters. Anyone who has seen the current season and these yokels would know that they can at least try.
We still seem to have trouble with this daylight savings time, so I got up an hour earlier than planned. With my extra hour, I thought I would beat the crowd, and arrived at the Radison an hour and a half early. Apparently fifty six other people felt the same way, cuz sis was number 57 in the queue.
As if someone had peeked into my mind, I came across this tweet:
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn
Tweeted by @AffirmYourLife.
As I said when I decided to try out, they could only say no.
An open casting call is akin to a job fair. You have a dozen people vying for the one open spot. During the wait, I chatted with Kenny, a young chef from Jersey. He currently works on a military base, but is worried that the plans for President Obama to privatize all military operations will have him out of a job. He wanted to get on HK for the job, the exposure, and the moolah. Kenny had previously been on Kitchen Impossible but didn’t make it far on that show. His angle was that he would show them the numbers: little to no minority representation on the show. He felt he could bring the viewers.
Next was Joey from Brooklyn. He was straight Brooklyn. From the accent, to the swagger, to the bravado. Joey was also a trained chef who wanted an opportunity for the job and the exposure.
There was another guy from Erie who nervously shuffled his application as we waited. He was yet ANOTHER trained chef just wanting a chance.
Last was some guy who would not STFU! He prattled on about Food Network, Iron Chef, and some other crap. We gave him the side eye from Hell, but he didn’t or wouldn’t take the hint. It made for an interesting three hours.
The majority of people waiting for their shot were men. As far as the African Americans Kenny said was lacking on the show, there were about fifteen of us. Perhaps that was why there is little minority representation on the show. To keep us occupied, Ed and Salvatore from Season 7 stopped by. Personally (and with all respect to their wives and The Mister) I would have preferred Rock from Season 2 or the Man himself, Chef Ramsay. Ed and Salvatore offered nothing useful as far as tips to make it on the show, but I did get a photo:
After a small eternity, I was called back. I finally got nervous. How can you, in what seems like a blink of the eye, display your personality? I came up with various ideas, then light bulb! For me, it was a little easy. Lisa and Deb, the ladies who were calling the shots, are twins. I slipped my twin angle in and BOOM Baby! Deb said she would love to see me on Master Chef, Ramsay’s show for the amateur cook. She promised I would be first in mind for casting for THAT show. AS for HK, I was promised a call back. To me, that means, don’t call us, we’ll call you. We’ll see.
I truly have no real expectation of being on the show. Sleeping Beauty watched a DVR’ed episode of Hell’s Kitchen with me and the kids last night. As Chef Ramsay yelled at one cook after the next, she kept asking “Are you sure you want to do this? You might haul off and hit him without even thinking.” Yes and not likely. I wouldn’t hit, but I’d forget I was a Christian and curse a blue streak during the confessional. One of my Facebook friends told me not to cry or he would clown me. Clown away, because I’m sensitive about my sh*t.*
The Mister, being The Mister, kept coming up with elimination quotes. Way to be supportive, honey.
The Boy and the Teen want me to make it, then stay on long enough so they could come to the reunion show. They want the free flight to LA more than anything. The kids and I already discussed strategy. Each season, the menu doesn’t change. I would learn to make the perfect risotto, Beef Wellington, Lobster Ravioli, Scallops, Halibut and other items that Chef Ramsay has asked for over the last 8 seasons. Working under Gordon Ramsay would be a once in a lifetime experience.
I like, no love this living fearlessly.** As Bookwoman posted on my wall in encouragement:
“Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission.” Neil Kendall
I’m beating my dreams, one recipe at a time.
* Erykah Badu during the live version of her hit Tyrone on her Badu Live CD.
** A blog post I’ve been meaning to write, but laziness has taken over.